We live in the age of communication in which you can reach family, friends and clients by text, email, social media or phone. However, even though technology has provided us an over-abundance of tools to connect with others, it seems the actual skill of communication remains a major hurdle and this is especially true in business.

A communication void between employees, employees and management and your management team can stymie your business. But nothing can harm your operation like a lack of communication between you and your customer base. Improving customer communication is truly vital in keeping your business afloat.

1)   Make it easy for customers to contact you

Locating the Fountain of Youth seems like mere child’s play when compared to finding the proper channels to contact some businesses. Don’t be one of those businesses. Make it easy for your customers to communicate with you. There are plenty of options available, from simple contact forms to the more technologically-advanced choices like live chat.

2)   Listen first and then respond

When contacted by a customer make sure you actually listen to their concerns. Teach your customer service team the crucial skill of paying attention. Nothing will irritate a customer more than dealing with a service representative that ignores them. Listen and then respond.

3)   Any response is better than no response

Have you ever contacted a business and hours later they have yet to respond? Maybe even days later? Infuriating, isn’t it? Even the slightest acknowledgement can curtail customer frustration. Don’t let your customer’s irritation turn into a volcanic eruption of anger, contact them. A simple “We have received your inquiry and are currently looking into a solution” is better than completely ignoring their concern.

4)   Be pithy

Get to the point. You can be friendly without opening up an hour-long conversation. Your customer’s time – and your time – is important. This is especially important in email communication. Create a subject line that properly conveys what the message is regarding, and in the body, propose a solution immediately. You and your customer will appreciate the efficiency.

5) Don’t forget the phone

So many people want to communicate via email, but for important conversation, email just doesn’t cut it. Talk with the other party, either via the phone or in person. Always the best form of communication.